This is a month of anniversaries. The Wilderness Act, which led to the formation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, is now 50 years old. Unplugged, the annual North House Folk School music fest, is celebrating its 13th year. Another Grand Marais music festival, Radio Waves, is seven years old. You’ll find stories and information about each of these anniversaries inside.
The big anniversary, at least in our office, is that Northern Wilds magazine is now 10 years old. We’ve come a long way in a decade, from humble beginnings as two freelancers producing a quarterly tabloid to small local company that publishes a monthly magazine, and produces regional books, guest directories for lodging properties, and tourist maps and menu guides. We also do commercial printing jobs such as catalogs, brochures, business cards and more.
Amber and I joke that the most amazing part of this 10-year milestone is that we haven’t killed each other. A business partnership definitely involves lots of give-and-take, as well as open lines of communication. Sometimes, that communication occurs at high volume. But it happens and we move the company forward.
In this issue you’ll find a feature story about the evolution of Northern Wilds and the strong supporting roles of our staff, advertisers, contributors and readers. Ultimately, dozens of individuals are involved with the creation and production of each issue. In addition to the aforementioned folks, there are our printers at Forum Communications Printing in Detroit Lakes, driver Rich LeDoux of Hibbing (who delivers the magazine), Duluth distributors Derek Breemeersch and Cathy McKinnon, Thunder Bay distributor Glenn Warner and Postmaster Frank Lehto and his staff at the Grand Marais Post Office. These are the people who are crucial in getting this and every issue of Northern Wilds to you.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve made dozens, if not hundreds of friends and acquaintances from Duluth to Nipigon—and well beyond. All of them have been happy to give us advice or moral support when we need it. Very often they are willing to go the extra mile at the drop of a hat. It’s encouraging and humbling to know these folks believe in us and in Northern Wilds.
We are natives to this area (Amber was born in Grand Marais, Shawn in Duluth). Since the beginning, we’ve believed this vast geographical space we’ve chosen to call the Northern Wilds shares a common culture and identity that transcends an international border, county lines or city limits. We strive with every issue to allow what we have in common to shine through and identify not only our publication, but this wonderful place we choose to call home. We fully intend to continue doing so as we enter the second decade of Northern Wilds.